How can we hope to have healthy and successful lives, including sex lives, if we feel shame at the things that are necessary to maintain our society? If you don’t support free markets, then you don’t support freedom of the individual and it’s only a matter of time before someone will be along to take control.
Welcome to the April 19, 2012 edition of the Objectivist Round Up and the 13th time that Erosophia has hosted.
This week I want to put up three quotes to remind everyone that nothing should be outside the purview of reason:
“Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself.” (Rand, Ayn. For the New Intellectual, 99.)
“Love is the expression of philosophy—of a subconscious philosophical sum—and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy quite so desperately. When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then —and only then—is it the greatest reward of man’s life.” (Rand, Ayn. “Philosophy and Sense of Life,” The Romantic Manifesto, 32.)
“If some man like Hugh Akston,” said Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged, “had told me, that by accepting the mystic’s theory of sex I was accepting the looter’s theory of economics, I would have laughed in his face. I would not laugh at him now.” (Rand, Ayn. “Of Living Death,” The Objectivist, 547.)
If we place things outside the province of reason, then we shall certainly make our lives worse. Moreover, we should not worry about “spoiling the magic” of love and sex, because these things are not magic, but are rather natural and important parts of human life. If anyone ever tells you to turn your mind away from any topic, they are not a friend of Objectivism, of reality, or, especially, of yours.
Now, without further ado, the Carnival!
Burgess Laughlin presents Benefits of Conflicts in Movements? posted at Making Progress, saying, “Like all movements, the Objectivist movement has suffered conflicts. The drawbacks of conflicts are easy to identify, but are there benefits that rational individuals can gain from them?”
Darius Cooper presents How’re we doing on Home prices (April 2012 edition) posted at Practice Good Theory, saying, “I look at house prices to see how far they’ve fallen.”
Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela presents The Unethical Nature of Current Immigration Laws: Ayn Rand’s Theory of Rights contra Current Immigration Rhetoric posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, “Guest blogger, Andrew Ryan, discusses the unethical nature of US immigration law in this wonderful essay.”
Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela presents Immigration Myth: Immigration Regulations Prevent the Exploitation of Workers posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, “In this post, Santiago busts the common immigration myth that regulations prevent the exploitation of migrant workers.”
Paul Hsieh presents The Best Congress Money Can Buy? posted at We Stand FIRM, saying, “My latest OpEd at RealClearMarkets.com discusses why there’s so much “money in politics” and why a free market in economics is the only proper solution.”
Rational Jenn presents ATLOSCon 2012 Registration posted at Rational Jenn, saying, “Woohoo! Registration for ATLOSCon 2012 is now open!”
Ari Armstrong presents The Renaissance of Liberty Begins in Colorado posted at Ari Armstrong’s Free Colorado, saying, “To fight back against federal abuses, we must spread free market ideas at the regional level with an eye toward a federalist pushback.”
Diana Hsieh presents Video: The Morality of Breaking the Law posted at NoodleFood, saying, “In Sunday’s Webcast, I discussed the morality and practicality of breaking the law. Watch the video!”
Peter Cresswell presents Not PC: The earthquake was a natural disaster. Everything since has been man-made. [updated] posted at Not PC, saying, “The ongoing earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, since 2010 have been a devastating natural disaster. But the response of government since has produced a disaster that is entirely man-made.”
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of objectivist round up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
The registration for ATLOSCon 2012 in Atlanta is now live! That means it’s time for you to register for my class and my workshop on sex. Oh, you didn’t know that you’d be able to see me speaking live this year? Well, read on.
This year at ATLOSCon I’m going to be delivering a class on Sexual Attraction and Fantasy as well as a workshop on more advanced sexual techniques.
Sexual Attraction and Fantasy: A Philosophical Exploration
What causes sexual attraction? Is it simply a physical response to a person’s body or is there something more going on? In this talk, I will delve into the deeper nature of sexual attractions and examine the cognitive element of sexual attraction and how it can enhance or destroy attractions. Further, we will look at the role of fantasy both by itself and its role in sexual attraction. Through this, we shall come to see that sexual attraction is more than merely a physical response and is, in fact, a robust phenomenon that ties together much more of ourselves than is commonly thought.
Practical Sexuality Workshop
Join your fellow conference attendees in a workshop on practical sexual skills hosted by Jason Stotts, author of Erosophia (one of the top 100 sex blogs of 2011). The workshop will be in three parts. The first part is an in-depth inquiry into anal eroticism, including anal sex and prostate play. The second part is all about orgasms, both male and female, including orgasmic edge play (also called extended orgasms or massive orgasms) and orgasm denial. The third part will be open Q&A where the floor will be opened to questions from attendees who can either ask questions there or submit them in advance if they’re not comfortable asking in front of the group. The workshop will be interactive and participation is encouraged. Price: $10 per person.
The workshop is obviously adult oriented in nature and no one under 18 will be permitted to attend. The workshop is open to singles, couples, poly-groups, and everyone of any orientation.
If you’re going to be in the Atlanta area, come check out ATLOSCon and my classes. It’s a really great weekend packed with a lot of good speakers. You’ll also meet some really great people. If you do end up in one of my classes, come say hi and introduce yourself. I love to meet readers.
The movie The Hunger Games has been doing exceptionally well in the box office and it’s no surprise. The Hunger Games are poignant, dramatic, and moving. It is the story of children caught up in the machine of an all powerful government who controls the very lives of its citizens and kills them for sport and to keep the others in line. It is the dramatization of what happens when the state gains absolute power. But, this post is not about how The Hunger Games is all too apropos to the direction our own government is heading. No, this post is about something entirely different.
In The Hunger Games, we see the viciciousness of a world in which children have to murder each other for sport, to appease their government, and to help keep the subjegated masses under control. We watch these children murder each other on screen, much as the ficitious residents of Panem do and we think about what a good shot Katniss is with her bow or how powerful Cato is. But, do we wonder about how we are so used to violence and death that the idea of even children killing each other as pets of their government doesn’t faze us? Do we not worry what has become of our humanity when children killing children is not absolutely shocking?
Moreover, do we not realize what is suspiciously absent from the film? In the book, Katniss remarks that the height of fashion for tributes is often nudity and she is relieved that her stylist Cinna doesn’t just make her go out naked or perhaps covered in just coal dust. There are scenes of her showering in the book, of being worked on naked by her prep team to look good for her death, and even of her bathing in the river during the games. These scenes are absent in the movie. Why? Because they contain nudity. Of children. And that is unacceptable in our culture. It’s fine to watch them murder each other, but god forbid we see their nude bodies, whether they are being sexual or not. And let me point out that I say “god forbid” very pointedly, becuase it is the christian preoccupation with the evil of the body, the sinful nature of the flesh, and the very evil of our “coroporeal prison” that has brought us to this day when to see children murder each other is fine, but to see their exposed bodies is not. And to think that the christians call us immoral.
If you haven’t considered why you think it’s okay for children to murder each other, but not to be naked on screen, please pause and ask yourself that now. There was no nudity in the movie because that would have moved their rating from PG-13 to R. Not the murder of children by other children. Simple nudity. Nudity in context of a story, nudity because it is part of life, nudity because it is natural. Not even sexuality, not even gratuitous nudity, just simple nudity can move the rating from PG-13 to R, whereas the murder of children cannot. What an interesting time we live in.
Our culture, corrupted with the taint of christianity, is so perverse that murder is more desirable to see than the natural state of our bodies. I can think of no more obvious sign that everything about christianity is set up as the opposite of what is good and fine in life. I can think of no more telling example than this that christianity is truly the great inversion of morality, the turning of morality from being an aid to achieve a good life to being nothing more than a path to perversion and death. That christianity is nothing more than the worship of death.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The day is not too late. We are still alive. We still have our minds. We are still free to act, to think, to write. We can reconsider our positions, reconsider why we believe the things we do. We can throw off the shackles of irrationality and look at things anew in the light of reason. We can regain our humanity one person at a time and retake our culture. And what a culture it was at one point, the American Dream: Freedom, Independence, Ingenuity, Mastery over Nature, Self-Reliance, a Government that is Servant and not Master. A dream that reasonable men and women would be able to live out their lives on their own terms, free to succeed or fail on their own merits. The dream began to fade because the philosophy on which is was based was not yet ready. And make no mistake, culture is only a reflection of philosophy, of ideas. Without the right ideas upon which to build, the structure slowly collapsed in on itself. But it is not gone yet and the philosophy is now ready.
We can start again in this noble land where the ideals are good and true, even if they are beginning to be corrupted. We can replace their poor foundations with strong ones made from good ideas and begin to build again. Through reason and human intelligence, we can reraise our flags of virtue and rebuild our society in the light of reason. We will have to throw off all scraps of faith, of desire to control the lives of others, of the desire to live off of others, of weakness and frailty, and replace these things with reason, productiveness, independence, and self-reliance. We can do it. The day is not too late. The sparks are lit. The only quesiton that remains is are we willing to commit ourselves fully to reason and fans the flames to immolate this culture corrupted by faith and religion and build anew through reason to the glory of man?
I never thought that I might live to see the day that I said MTV has a good show on the air. Today is, however, that day. They’ve enlisted Dan Savage, who’s advice on relationships and sex is superb (even if some of his politics are disagreeable), to travel the country to different college campuses, speak, and answer student questions. The first episode of the show is out now for free and I recommend you take a look. Dan also has a podcast and blog where you can go to find answers to just about any question you can think of, and probably many you’ve never thought of.